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This looks like a bacterial infection of either the skin or hair follicles - the former is called Impetigo while the latter is called Folliculitis. They both are caused by similar bacteria and respond to the same treatment - that would be a 5-7 day course of an oral antibiotic like Dicloxacillin 500 mg three times a day along with 2% Mupirocin cream applied twice a day on the affected area for 10-14 days. His doctor would be able to prescribe these for him.
If he cannot see a doctor in person then I would suggest washing the affected area with an antibacterial soap like Dial or Hibiclens while bathing and applying Bacitracin ointment twice a day on the sores till they heal (10-14 days). Both of these are available over the counter without a prescription. Tablet Advil 400 mg or Tablet Claritin 10 mg can be taken once or twice a day after meals as required for pain or itching respectively. He should avoid activities which involve heat or sweating and not wear any cap for the next week or so.
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It is contagious. One can pick up the bacteria from anywhere but common places are the barbers and gymnasiums.
As I said one can pick it up anywhere really. An infected razor is also a common cause if it has not been kept clean. Yes it important not to touch it - one can transfer it other parts of the scalp or body through the fingers if the infected area is touched. Ringworm is actually less contagious.